Afraid to tell the apartment manager

2 Replies

I am a renter and my rent has always been on time and I try to take the best care of my apartment as I can. Now I have a problem and I am afraid to tell the manager about it. I really need your advice on how I should approch him.

The management company who owns the apartment complex where I live has changed managers often. The last couple we had was nice enough, nothing to make us worried. One day I began to notice that when I would flip the light on in my bathroom the overhead fan wouldn't always come on, or I would have to flip the switch. This kept happening, so I told the manager's boyfriend, she said he was working with her, about the problem.

This went on for a couple of weeks. One day, I see him with a couple of guys, new tenants I imagine and ask him if he had a chance to deal with my fan issue. Yes, yes, he is having someone come in a take a look at it and if need can they come into my apartment while I am at work. Sure, I say.

A couple of days go by and I come home, go to the bathroom and what do I see where my fan used to be. They had stapled over the hole a ugly piece of paneling. I couldn't believe it. And it was brown to boot. I go out and there he is talking again to a couple of guys. New tenants??? I ask him about my fan and he proceeds to tell me that they had to take my fan out because the wiring system was disentergrating, that was the reason the fan wouldn't always work. And if I continued to try to use a fan it would very likely start an electrical fire.

I asked him what was I suppose to do without a bathroom fan. He gives me this long list of things to do to keep damage down to a minimume. So for the next 2 years I am taking warm 5 minute showers. I wash my hair in the kitchen sink, and before I go to work every morning I climb up on my step ladder and dry the ceiling, and the walls. I do this everyday. The summer is not so bad, but come the winter, I freeze my butt off. Oh yeah! I always keep a fan in the bathroom pointed as high as I can get it to keep moisture level to a minimum. I did it all.

And then, those managers. Turns out they had been stealing rent payments, selling off fixures in vacant apartments and the manager's boyfriend, he was selling some really heavy drugs from out of the complex. Those guys he was always with, they were buyers.

Well then the management company caught wind of what was going on and fired and evicted them. Well they stayed on for another month or two anyway. They even rented several thousand dollars woth of merchandise from a rent to own store, including a $3000 big screen tv to the management company. Then before the police could come and get them, they snuck out in the dead of night. They even punched holes in all the walls and pretty much trashed the place before they left. Even peeing on the carpet. Animals.

They have since been arrested and are in jail.

The manager who came in later is nice enough and I am wishing I had said something to him about my bathroom fan. I don't know why I didn't. But it has been almost two years now and I have to tell him. I haven't been up on that step ladder of almost a year now because I almost killed myself when a wasp got in my bathroom while I was up there. If it had been anything else, but wasps scare the ssss out of me. I don't even remember putting a hole in the wall and bending the towel bar. No, I paid for that repair myself without telling him.

But I have to tell him because I am starting to see these little bumps overhead, and I am noticing more of them. I am just afraid that I am going to be evicted over it. I did what I was suppose to do. I didn't want to be responsible for a fire. What if someone was killed???

What should I do, I have renters insurance? But I am afriad that I am going to get sued or he is going to evict me.

So tell me, am I in deep doodoo??

If you see bubbles in the ceiling then you likely have some kind of water damage going on. That is definitely the sort of thing that an apartment manager wants to know about, so feel free to mention it (they will thank you for it!). Better to fix a small problem with plumbing now than to let it grow into a major repair for tomorrow.

As for the fan in the bathroom, I'm not sure what your apartment manager will say. If I were in your shoes I would try to sell the manager on all of the costly repairs they'll have to do if they don't fix the fan now. (Hint: Water buildup can lead to drywall, structural wood, and/or electircal repairs) You can also mention that a fan will help cut down on mold (Hint: mold is a hot-button topic because some property owners have been sued over mold).

You can't be eviceted for that! Its not your fault. You need to tell the manager ASAP, because it will lead to more damage if this is not fixed. In addition, you should be able to shower as long and as hot as you want. If the bathroom gets damaged because the manager is not doing thier job, it is their fault, not yours. The bubbles are sign of damage, and the owners will likely want to know about it.

You can't fear managers because they are bound to certain laws. Eviction is a process that requires court intervention. You need to stand up for yourself and speak up more. If that happens again, I would try and locate the building owners and tell them what is happening. Believe me, they care a lot more about the building then the hired manager.

BTW. I'm not an attrorney, just a fellow board member who is trying to help you out.